Monday, May 25, 2009

Healthcare Groups Look for Help

Hospital executives are reminding lawmakers that medical centers are an economic anchor in many Pennsylvania communities. Lobbyists say proposed cuts to hospital Medicaid payments will lead to job losses across the Commonwealth. The budget approved by the Republican-controlled Senate reduces Medicaid funding to hospitals by nearly $280 million in combined federal and state money. Barry Freedman is CEO of the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network....“These cuts in Medicaid reimbursement proposed by both the Governor and the Senate hit the state's urban area's the hardest. More than 75 percent of the $280 million in cuts will affect hospitals in the state's two largest counties.” Freedman says medical centers in Allegheny County would get about $50 million less in the coming fiscal year under the current spending plan. Capitol observers say the Senate budget is a negotiation starter that won't likely reach the House floor for serious debate.

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